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GOURMANDISE

Pumpkin carving for a cause
The fifth annual great pumpkin carving fund-raiser is scheduled for 10:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Saturday at the Main Transit Market, 8200 Main St., Williamsville.

It's a fun event. Chefs from the Greater Buffalo branch of the American Culinary Foundation will be on hand to carve pumpkins to your order. Do you want a Buffalo Bills symbol? Maybe you'd rather have a Cinderella carriage?

If so, this is the place.

Proceeds from the sale of these super-pumpkins benefit the Chef and Child Foundation, which helps needy children all over the country.

Food and theology

Now, there's a subject that can hardly be described as "light eating." And on hand to discuss all the ramifications in Buffalo this week will be Jeff Smith.

Smith, of course, is the "Frugal Gourmet" of television and cookbook fame. But he's also an ordained minister who holds a doctorate of divinity degree.

Smith will be speaking during Sabbath services at Temple Beth Zion, 805 Delaware Ave., at 7:30 p.m. Friday. For information, call the temple office at 886-7150.

'Cooking for Dummies'

That's the title of the newest book in the terrific "For Dummies" series published by IDG Books Worldwide, which has become the fastest-growing publisher in the country because of this gimmick.

Other "For Dummies" books include "Wine for Dummies," "DOS for Dummies" and "Personal Finance for Dummies." The idea behind them all, according to the company's publicist, is to "identify with the anxiety and frustration people feel about technology by poking fun at it with books that are insightful and educational."

The books are lighthearted and enlivened with cartoons and jokes. But they're full of information, too. If you're nervous about working in a kitchen, this book ought to help. Written by Bryan Miller, the former New York Times restaurant critic, and Marie Rama, a food consultant, it's packed full of recipes and ideas, not all of which are at the kindergarten level, by the way.

But not all of them are that easy to find in a hurry, truth to tell. It's best to read the book from cover to cover, then take it from there. The 401-page paperback costs $19.99.

Culinary date book

Today, noon to 6 p.m.: This is the last day for the Buffalo Wine & Food Show at the Hyatt Regency. Featured will be wines from around the world, distinctive beers, food demonstrations and wine seminars. There is an admission charge, and you must be 18 to enter.

Oct. 27, 5 to 7 p.m., Hallwalls Contemporary Art Center, 2495 Main St.: "Consuming Passions," an exhibit of "provocative art" combined with an array of wines, hors d'oeuvres and desserts from some of the area's best restaurants.

Food will be provided by Ambrosia, Amy's Place, Bijou Grill, Billy Ogden's, Buffalo Club, Cafe in the Square, Caffe Aroma, Daniel's, Dolci Bakery, Fiddlehead's, Garden Restaurant, Havana, Hourglass, Hutch's, Just Pasta, Kodiak Cafe, Left Bank, Le Metro, Le Peche, Metropolitan, Mother's, Oliver's, Pano's, Pettibones, Preservation Hall, Rue Franklin, Rutabaga's, Saki's, Savage Cat Cafe, Sequoia, Shebeen, Siena, Solid Grounds, Sweet Tooth, Warren's and Zuzon's.

Call Hallwalls at 835-7362 for information or to charge tickets by phone.

Campbell's in a jar

Now, here's a new product that ought to set the grocery business right on its soup tureen. The Campbell Co. has announced it will introduce a line of four ready-to-serve soups in 24-ounce glass containers this fall.

The varieties are Chicken & Pasta with Garden Vegetables, Garden Vegetables with Pasta, Cream of Mushroom and Minestrone.

But what, we wonder, would Andy Warhol say? So identifiable and famous are the old red-and-white soup cans of Mr. Campbell, you remember, that the artist painted them constantly.

One of his best-known paintings was "One Hundred Cans" -- all Beef Noodle.

Haunted HelpLine

You read it here first: Call (800) 865-4406 now through Halloween night and get connected with a semi-spooky information line sponsored by M & M candies.

The line is presided over by none other than "Yellow," a peanut M & M, and "Red," a regular M & M. It offers five menu options: creative costume ideas and tips; makeup tips from the pros at Universal Studios; home decoration hints; candy collection ideas (yeah!), and party planning ideas from FamilyFun magazine.

You need time to make this call, however. There are so many suggestions in each option, you could spend the whole day on the phone.

A thought for today

"People who eat white bread have no dreams," said former Vogue magazine editor Diana Vreeland, quoted in a wonderful little book published by Clarkson N. Potter called "Food for the Soul: Delicious Thoughts to Nourish Mind and Heart," by Barbara Milo Ohrbach ($8).

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